Lego Architecture – White House (21006) Review

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Lego Architecture – White House (21006): Well with the presidential campaign very underway by now – it seems like candidates will say and do anything to covet that above building. While I do sort of wish this came with the massive yard and fence from the real building – it is actually a good set.

 

Time to Knoll: 30 Minutes

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Time to Build: 55.5 Minutes

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Metrics:

  • Pieces: 561 and 54 Steps – Manual
  • Price: $49.99 on Lego and $45.83 on Amazon
  • Weight 436 grams
  • Combo Points: (6X28X1X1) = 168 points
  • Volume (Based on Blob length/width/height): 48mm x 128mm x 112.0mm or 688.1 cm³ with a little more on top to be 721.7 cm³

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Scores:

  • Uniqueness: 4 out of 5 Stars
  • Aesthetics: 4 out of 5 Stars
  • Fun to Build: 2 out of 5 Stars
  • Hoarding: 3 out of 5 Stars

 

What Else?

You may have noticed reviews having page numbers, but it’s time once again to announce another feature that will be in all future TopBrick reviews (and past ones by next week.) As evidenced by keeping XL spreadsheets for inane things, and the weird metrics on this site – it should be no surprise I have a love of data and visualizing it. To that end I’ve developed an interactive chart that will actually pull data from a set’s pieces and show you the colors and pieces in a beautiful way. Behold:

To explain a bit what’s going on here:

  • I am getting the CSV data from Brickset
  • I then build a D3 chart that creates a hierarchy by color and part
  • The part itself has an image and count shown via a tooltip
  • I also use the Levenshtein algorithm to test the string from the CSV against the color data from Lego. To understand what this is doing imagine the following example. Say the data I am provided says Md. Stone Grey. Now as a human we know that’s Medium, but how does the computer?
    • Quite simply we use the Levenshtein algorithm which in layman’s terms assigns a score to insertions/deletions/replacements in order to determine how alike one set of text is from another.
    • So say we are matching Md. Stone Grey to Medium Stone Grey, and Light Stone Grey. In this instance we would need to add 5 characters to Md. in order to match both (eium, and light); however to make the text match fully we need to remove characters as well.
    • Since to match light we need to remove all of Md. we get an additional score of 3; however for Medium while we had 5 adds, we only need to remove the period to match since we can insert the additional character (theoretically) at any position.
    • So what happens is because Md. is closer to Medium than it is closer to Light we correctly get the right information.

 

Remix: So for the remix this week I decided to make usage of the stark contrast of colors here. (While the green makes the field, and there is a bit of gray or brown) this comes into a black v. white. I therefore decided to make two towers – light versus dark. Good versus evil.

21006_remix

 

Final Thoughts: Overall I have to wonder why people care so much about such a ‘okay’ looking building. (It is admittedly the power it represents) I normally talk about how I enjoy a set that is the perfect size, but for some reason (maybe it’s the patriotism) I feel like this should be a much larger set. One where we can see an interior, see the Lincoln bedroom, the Oval Office, etc.

Final Score: 3 out of 5 Stars

Lego Architecture – Eiffel Tower (21019) Review

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Lego Architecture – Eiffel Tower (21019): Well I wouldn’t be properly back from a summer hiatus without doing another architecture set, and this time we go to Paris. This is without a doubt though the largest of the Architecture line that I’ve done so far. Also despite the intentional Leaning Tower of Pisa or the thinly Space Needle, this feels the most ‘unsecure’ due to it’s unique design which works great visually (and is a joy for those who love sub-assemblies), but lacks rigidity.

 

Time to Knoll: 14 Minutes

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Time to Build: 25 Minutes

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Metrics:

  • Pieces: 321 and ~47 Steps – Manual (49 Pages)
  • Price: $34.99 on Lego and $31.26 on Amazon
  • Weight 197 grams
  • Combo Points: (7X32X1X1) = 224 points
  • Volume (Based on Blob length/width/height): 64mm x 112mm x 44.8mm or 321.3 cm³

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Scores:

  • Uniqueness: 4 out of 5 Stars
  • Aesthetics: 4 out of 5 Stars
  • Fun to Build: 5 out of 5 Stars
  • Hoarding: 3 out of 5 Stars

 

Spectrum:

 

What Else? France as you may know was not originally pleased with Eiffel, and the ugly sculpture he placed upon the city. It was considered an unattractive iron latticework that would never be viewed as more than an industrial mess. Of course we know minds and hearts changes, but personally I’ve always loved Ironwork sculptures, and considering the size of this rather large architecture set I wanted to see how impractical an iron version would be at this scale.

So first the density of Wrought Iron is 7750 (kg/m3) whereas ABS plastic used in Lego is a measly 1.07 (g/m3). Now since we’ve already got the weight (which with no force gives us mass) we get an actual volume of 184.11 cm³ instead of the 321 above (because Lego’s are not exactly solid.)

Putting that into our p = M/V function we get an answer of 1426.86g which for those wondering is actually only a measure of 3.14 pounds. Now while that’s not absurd, it certainly makes one hell of a paper weight for your bookshelf.

In fact it’s about 240% stronger. Since our mini wrought-iron tower is about 50.25 oz, and despite there not being a study I could find about the average size of paper weights – Amazon is kind enough to help with a range. Most paperweights seem to fall between 6 and 25 ounces from the first page of results (I don’t count this 2.4 pound behemoth though) but we get an average of 14.75 oz, and hence our mini-Eiffel Tower is a 240% better paperweight than most of what you can get on Amazon

 

Remix: So for this weeks remix I took a bit longer than I normally do – mostly because I knew I wanted a Lunar/Planet lander, but because getting the scale was difficult. This lead to what is far away the weakest (structurally speaking) set I’ve made. There was no way adding 5 pieces would have helped (I did manage to use all the pieces though) so I simply did the best I can – and while I’m pleased with the looks, a simple table bump can destroy this.

21019_remix

 

Final Thoughts: Due to it’s size I feel like if you had to choose only 1 set of the line for your bookcase – you would still not pick this. In part because it’s height would simply not fit, but mostly because while the set is certainly visually interesting – it takes up a certain presence, and makes you wonder that maybe if the design was a bit simpler the scale could be a more manageable size, and whether such a tradeoff would be a good idea.

Final Score: 3 out of 5 Stars